Why love Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who


Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is one that has divided people somewhat. I’ve heard people call him cold, heartless, and unsympathetic; simply because when another character dies – which tends to happen every episode – the Doctor shows very little empathy, and instead chooses to move on quickly and get on with things. I don’t think he’s any of these things at all, and that actually, some viewers are failing to look into his character a little deeper. Let me tell you why.

We’re nine episodes into the latest season now, and rather fittingly the latest episode subtly shows why anyone who thinks the Doctor is cold is wrong. Without spoiling it too much for those who haven’t watched it yet, Clara basically gets the chance to become the Doctor for the day, as Capaldi is somewhat out of action. Naturally, people die along the way, but does Clara stop and take time to mourn those she’s just lost? No. In fact, at the end of the episode, she’s pretty darn happy with herself, as she believes she did a good job as the Doctor. Again, she doesn’t stop to think about those who have died, she’s too busy patting herself on the back. When she says to the Doctor: “Admit it, I was a good Doctor,” he simply replies: “You were an exceptional Doctor. Being good has nothing to do with it.”

He’s saying that the Doctor isn’t a good person. The Doctor has to be selfish, act fast and therefore move on quickly – even if someone has just died – much like Clara did. Sometimes he even has to kill the ‘monsters’, something which he does not like doing, but often he finds himself in situations where that’s the only choice. Unfortunately, that’s what being a hero is all about – making the difficult choices when no one can, or wants to. However, most of the time, he gives the creature in question the benefit of the doubt. He tries to believe everything is good until it proves otherwise. We’ve seen this from Capaldi’s Doctor in several instances so far.

When Clara played the Doctor for herself, she realised that you have to be emotionally detached in order to succeed, hence why she spend no time getting upset over any of the character’s deaths. She had to be brave. She had to run, in order to save herself, the Doctor and the people who were still alive from the ‘monsters’.


I’m not sure what more people want from the Doctor. When someone dies should he stop? Sit down and make himself a cuppa? Cry? There isn’t time. In a war zone, you cannot stop and sob. You have to pick up your gun and keep fighting until you’re safe. They’ll be time to mourn then. Not only that, but it isn’t in this Doctor’s nature to let his feelings show. He covers them up by making fun of Clara, getting angry and concentrating on the job at hand, but underneath, we all know the Doctor is a lot more complicated than that.

The Doctor is older now. He not some young pretty-boy like Matt Smith or even David Tennant, and this was made very evident in the first episode with Capaldi. It was explained almost straight away that the Doctor wasn’t going to be Clara’s boyfriend anymore, nor is going to hold her hand. In a bid to perhaps distance himself from her, as they were getting too close, the Doctor has given Clara a rough time. This may have caused her to, in one episode, to throw her toys out the Tardis, but would she have been able to play the Doctor for a day if he hadn’t had given this reality check? Probably not.

It’s also important to remember the Doctor isn’t human. The whole reason why he has a companion is because he needs that balance. He needs someone to be empathic, to understand what the innocent bystanders are going through. If he had these emotions himself, there would be no need for him to have any assistants. And quite frankly, that would make for a rather boring Doctor Who.

Essentially, the Doctor – or any character for that matter – can’t be taken at face-value. You need to be able to look at a character a little deeper than “he/she is seems mean and cold”. I actually think Peter Capaldi’s Doctor is extremely well-written, as he’s not just a 2D character. There is a lot more to him than meets the eye, I just wish other Doctor Who fans could see that.


Why are we so obsessed with tradition?

By Lindsey Child on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

By Lindsey Child on Flickr. Used under Creative Commons.

Exactly a week ago today, my partner proposed to me. I thought we were just going to Bath to meet up with our gaming friends, but it turned out he’d arranged the whole weekend around it – with the help of my friends, of course. He even designed the Portal-themed ring himself! He arranged all that, in secret – but do you know what he didn’t do? Ask my dad for permission to marry me.

Why? Well my answer is, why should he?

People start asking you a lot of questions when you get in engaged: When’s the wedding? Where’s the wedding? How did he propose? But both Alex and I have been asked a lot if he asked my dad before proposing. This struck us as odd; we assumed it was very old hat to do such a thing these days. I didn’t know people still did it! To those that asked me this question, I stated that I am not a piece of property. I don’t belong to my father. I own my own house, have my own job and live with my partner.

When Alex was asked that same question, some people were confused by his similar response. In their eyes, it’s tradition. Therefore, you just do it, without questioning. This is perhaps what angers me most about so-called ‘tradition’. Because it’s perceived normal to do things that are traditional, we stop asking why we do them. Back in the day, daughters did belong to their fathers. Traditionally, fathers pay for the wedding too, but I don’t expect, or even want, mine to. I am a big girl, I can pay for things myself.

Under marriage, I am also expected to take my partner’s name. We have discussed this before in length and I have already decided that I don’t want to do this. Not because I want to purposely break tradition, but because I like my name, and I feel as if I would be losing part of my identity by changing it. These days, the only real reason for a woman, or indeed a man, to change their name is for the sake of the children, should you have any. Sadly, society would probably laugh or look down upon any man who chooses to take his wife’s name. Sexism and marriage, it seems, go hand in hand.

Although gay people have long struggled for the right to be able to marry, now that they have that right they are lucky. The latest episode of ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ featured a gay couple, and the groom-to-be planning the wedding made a very good point: gay people don’t have any traditions when it comes to marriage. They don’t have to follow the rules, they can do anything they want when it comes to their big day. But really, don’t we all have that same opportunity?

Let’s drop the bullshit. No one has to ‘give you away’ if you don’t want them to. You don’t have to take someone’s name and you certainly don’t have to listen to anyone who says you have to do so for the sake of tradition. It’s time we all started making our own traditions.